Dale Frederick (Fred) Grothe, 90, of Urbana and formerly of Rantoul, went home to be with the Lord on October 8, 2020, surrounded by his family. A beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend has left us and will be missed terribly.
Fred was born on September 23, 1930 in Tolono, son of Louis Henry and Mary Ellen (Harper) Grothe. He married Betty Irene Wood of Sadorus on October 6, 1956 at the Sadorus Methodist Church. After 61 years of marriage, she preceded him in her journey to heaven in 2017, joining their son, Mark Wayne. Fred is survived by daughters Michelle (Bob) Doty, Marcia Grothe, and Melisa (Mick) Cornelius; granddaughters Hannah Doty, Elizabeth (Josh) Underwood, and Andrea Cornelius; and brothers Donald (Carol) and Duyane (Ann) Grothe. He was predeceased by five sisters, Doris Schwehm, Wilma Smith, Ruth Chambers, Helen Grothe, and Betty Freese; and three brothers, Norman, Ernest, and Jerry Grothe.
Mr. Grothe graduated from Tolono Community High School in 1948 and served as chairman of the Tolono High School Alumni Association for many years. He was a graduate of the International Business College in Fort Wayne, Indiana and of Eastern Illinois University, earning a bachelor’s degree at 70 years old. During the Korean War, Mr. Grothe served in the U.S. Navy aboard the submarine tender U.S.S. Fulton from 1951-1955. He had a successful and rewarding career at the Eastern Illinois Telephone Company in Rantoul, beginning there as an accountant/office manager in 1957 and retiring in 1992 as the controller/treasurer for its successor, Alltel Service Corporation.
Mr. Grothe was a dedicated and involved citizen, giving generously of his time, talents, and resources to many organizations throughout his life. In addition to his longtime memberships in the Rantoul Kiwanis Club, Moose Lodge, and American Legion, he also sat on the boards of the United Way of Champaign County and the Developmental Services Center. For over 50 years, Mr. Grothe faithfully served as an elder of the Rantoul Presbyterian Church until its closure in 2015. During his 12 years as a resident of Brookdale Senior Living in Urbana, he was an active member of the community, leading weekly trivia, regularly attending their Sunday evening chapel services, and serving as chairman of the Resident Committee.
An accomplished gardener, Fred enjoyed sharing his gift with others, first for 50 years at his home on Kenneth Drive in Rantoul and later at Brookdale, where he served as caretaker for their raised gardens. He was pleased by how much the other residents enjoyed his flowers, especially the giant sunflowers during the summer and fall. Fred also loved music, particularly classical music and musicals, poetry, plays, and singing.
In recent years, Fred’s daughters provided him with loving care around the clock. They were the Lord’s angels, who had looked after their mother during her declining years until she went to be with the Lord. The family would like to thank all those at Brookdale and others who provided him with care and friendship.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, October 12, at Renner-Wikoff Chapel & Crematory, 1900 S. Philo Road, Urbana. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home, the Reverend Jud Travis officiating, with burial following at Locust Grove Cemetery in Philo.
Online condolences may be offered at www.renner-wikoffchapel.com. Memorials may be made to the Developmental Services Center, 1304 W. Bradley Avenue, Champaign, IL 61821. Please note on the check “In memory of Mark Grothe.”
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